Herbs perennial, glabrous or hairy. Roots fibrous or tuberous, often carrot-shaped. Rhizome short, fleshy or woody; young branches not covered with scales. Flowering stem arising from lateral bud of previous year, annual and abscissing from base or persisting and basally woody. Stem leaves alternate, opposite, or 3-5-verticillate; leaf blade flat, glabrous, spurless. Inflorescence terminal, sometimes also subterminal and thus paniculate, cymose, often corymbiform, sometimes umbel-like, many flowered, bracteate. Flowers bisexual or unisexual, unequally (4 or)5-merous, sometimes reduced. Sepals usually shorter than petals, base subconnate and spurless. Petals usually free, purple, red, pink, or white, occasionally yellowish or greenish. Stamens 2 × as many as petals, inserted basally on corolla. Nectar scales oblong-cuneate to linear-oblong, apex rounded or subemarginate. Carpels free, base narrow, substipitate. Follicles erect, many seeded. Seeds narrowly winged.
Herbs, perennial (dying back in winter, base persisting as annual addition to rootstock), not viviparous, 2-9 dm, glabrous, (from sympodial rootstock with thickened or tuberous roots). Stems [mostly] erect or ascending, little-branched proximal to cyme, succulent. Leaves persistent, cauline, alternate, opposite [or whorled], sessile or short-petiolate, not connate basally; petiole to 5 mm; blade [mostly] broad, ovate to obovate, oblanceolate, elliptic, or elliptic-oblong, or spatulate, laminar, 2-11 cm, herbaceous, base not spurred, margins entire or dentate or serrate; veins not conspicuous. Inflorescences terminal corymbose cymes, often paniculate. Pedicels present. Flowers erect, 5-merous; sepals connate basally, all alike; petals ascending or spreading, distinct, white or greenish to pinkish or purple [red]; calyx and corolla not circumscissile in fruit; nectaries quadrate to oblong [spatulate]; stamens 2 times as many as sepals or absent; filaments adnate to corolla base; pistils erect, distinct; ovary base attenuate, sometimes sharply narrowed, tapering to slender styles; styles shorter than ovary. Fruits erect. Seeds ellipsoid, with narrow, parallel grooves. x = 12.
SELECTED REFERENCES Baldwin, J. T. 1937. The cyto-taxonomy of the Telephium section of Sedum. Amer. J. Bot. 24: 126-132. Ohba, H. 1977. The taxonomic status of Sedum telephium and its allied species (Crassulaceae). Bot. Mag. (Tokyo) 90: 41-56.
|Orpine, stonecrop [Greek hyle, wood, and genus Telephium]|